10 Design Features on Everyday Items You Never Knew Had a Purpose

by Akankha Mitra3 years ago
Picture 10 Design Features on Everyday Items You Never Knew Had a Purpose

“Design is intelligence made visible” is a popular saying that has brought the significance of designs into the limelight. Everything around us has taken shape from a rough design. The objects may include something as trivial as a hairpin or a big project like a multipurpose dam. These designs might or might not serve a specific purpose. However, some of the products’ designs serve unfamiliar purposes. These products have an unrecognized value attached to them which is highly unpopular. Sounds intriguing, right? Read further to know these 10 design features on everyday Items you never knew had a purpose.

1 The Black Dot on the back of iPhones

The black dot on iPhones is not the flash. It actually serves a purpose, though. It is a microphone. It is not used to record sounds but acts as a noise canceller.

Black Dot on the back of iPhones
Black Dot on the back of iPhones

The tiny black dot between the camera and the flash on the back cover of iPhones serves an important purpose. Although it is often mistaken as the flash, this, in reality, is a microphone. If you are an iPhone user, you might notice that there are other two microphones present as well.

The bottom and the top microphones are for phone calls and audio recording, whereas the third one on the backside is to facilitate noise cancellation. It helps in canceling out background noises and prevents ambient sounds from being recorded. This simple noise cancellation tool also helps immensely in making phone calls easier.

It is highly functional while recording HD videos or video calling. As a result, clarity of sound and less noisy phone calls can be obtained easily. (source)

2 The Metal Bit on a Measuring Tape

The metal bit on the end of a measuring tape makes it easier to use it on softer surfaces like drywall so that one can mark the measured area without a pencil. The hook has an inbuilt hole, too, in order to keep the screws and nails in place.

The curved metal on the measuring tape is used to keep the tape intact while measuring a surface. The concave lining helps the tape stay in place when extended. The serrated edge on the end of the hook of a measuring tape is used to mark points on the surface to be measured. If you don’t have a handy marking tool like a pencil, it can be used effectively.

This scribing tool works favorably on softer surfaces like drywall. You can easily use the feature by moving it back and forth to make a prominent mark.

Another important function offered by the metal edge is the nail grab. It consists of a small slot on the end of the hook that keeps nails in place. While measuring a flat or vertical surface, you don’t need another person to hold it straight. All you need is a nail and a hammer. The nail is fitted through this hole or slot and is inserted into the wall. This way, an accurate measurement can be easily obtained. (1, 2)


3 Tiny Buttons on Denim

The tiny buttons on jeans are called “rivets.” They might look unnecessary, but they were used, initially, to protect the weaker points of the pants from external damage when they were made from canvas.


As patented by Levi Strauss, these little buttons are called “rivets.” They might look unnecessary for the pair of jeans, but they are highly functional since they help protect the jeans from excess wear and tear. When used on a daily basis, the pants become vulnerable to harsh, external conditions. These buttons help protect the tender parts of the jeans.

The idea had taken shape in reality in 1829 when Strauss came across the miners who complained about their denim not lasting long enough while working. Strauss was working on the solution when Jacob Davis wrote to him bringing the solution to light. He wrote that he had discovered that using copper rivets on the sensitive areas of the pants shall help them last longer.

Finally, upon discovering that Davis’ idea was popular in his hometown of Reno, Strauss named Davis as the company production company. (1, 2)

4 The Tiny Holes on Padlocks

The small hole on the lock is used to pour oil in case rust accumulates on the metallic surface of the lock. It also enables any liquid that enters to seep out. The oil helps in the functioning of the lock and the reduced size of the hole helps prevent spillage.

Tiny Holes on Padlocks
Tiny Holes on Padlocks

Although you might have not noticed, common padlocks have a small hole or two at the bottom. The real purpose of these holes, however, is not insignificant.

The purpose of these holes serves two purposes. Firstly, you can pour engine oil in them if you are having trouble while turning the key. The rust in the keyhole might be an inconvenience, so the oil can help you easily turn the key.

Once the oil is poured, make sure that you wait for a minute, at least, before pouring the oil again. When the oil drips out through the drain hole, the key can be used without difficulty.

Secondly, since padlocks are mostly used outdoors, the holes prevent rust on the inner surface by letting water drip out from them. Additionally, it prevents the water from accumulating and freezing, which might have caused severe damage to the lock. (1, 2)


5 The Blue side of Erasers

The blue side of the eraser is used to erase pencil marks on course paper. It is a mistake if it is used to erase ink, but it was designed to erase pencil marks on rougher paper.

Blue side of Erasers
Blue side of Erasers

We all have possessed the eraser that was colored blue on one of the sides. It was a common notion among the school kids that the blue side was used to erase ink on paper. When we tried erasing the mistakes made by ink, we failed miserably and often ended up ruining the surface of the paper.

The actual purpose of this blue side of an eraser is to erase pencil marks on courser paper. The dark marks on heavy grades of paper can be erased using the blue side of the eraser with ease and without harming the paper, giving it a flawless, neat look

The white end should be used to remove pencil marks from light paper. The blue part might tear a soft and light paper. In this way, both sides work efficiently in erasing pencil marks according to the paper quality. (1, 2)

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